Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Christmas in Chicago; 1933
I awakened to familiar sounds of pans scraping in and out of the oven as the tantalizing aroma of apples and cinnamon wafted its way into the bedroom. I lazily opened my eyes and then closed them again, to snuggle down deeper into the feather bed, that was so soft, so comfy, so warm. My head was filled with thoughts like snowflakes swirling in a gusty wind. Would Grandma like the calendar I made for her? Would my cousins be here early enough to play outdoors? Would it snow? What was I getting for Christmas? Soon, the anticipation and excitement was too much and I had to get out of bed, to start this wonderful day. My toes touched the cold linoleum as they searched for my slippers. I found my long underwear, stockings, petticoat, vest and dress on the chair. Shivering I grabbed them and ran behind the kitchen stove to get dressed. It was the warmest place in the house.
I was a skinny little girl, too small for my eight years. I had straight platinum hair, cut Buster Brown style and blue, blue eyes. I was a quiet, obedient child who spent much time alone, reading and making believe with my paper dolls.As I wiggled into my clothes, I watched Grandma. She must have been up for hours. There were cookies, pies and Kolachy cooling everywhere. "Good Morning Sleepyhead," she said. "I put your oatmeal on the back of the stove to keep it warm, you can help yourself." I nodded and watched as she moved quickly from the table to the oven. She was in her sixties, with flawless skin and an everready smile. She loved flowered dresses and wore them all the time.
Her name was Emily, but everyone just called her Milly. She was the mother of four children, three girls and one boy. Two daughters marriages, unfortunately, ended in divorce and they brought home four grandchildren for Grandma and Grandpa to raise. There was my step-sister Helen, my cousins Adeline and Clarence, and myself.Helen was eighteen and I didn't see too much of her. She was thin and had red hair. She was busy working, seeing her friends and going out with young men. My cousin Clarence was seventeen and my favorite cousin. He had dark, slick hair and was good looking. But best of all, he let me sit on top of his newspapers in the wagon while he delivered them. It kept other kids from stealing the papers and in return, he took me to see movies every Saturday at a downtown theater. Cousin Adeline was sixteen and she helped my Grandma a lot.
As I was helping myself to breakfast, my Grandfather came in with two buckets of coal, huffing and puffing like a steam engine. He was a small man, with wire glasses perched on his German sharp nose. He was known all over the neighborhood for fixing bikes, wagons and toys. The lemon drops he carried in his pocket, helped to mend many a skinned knee or broken heart.
As I was finishing my cereal, I suddenly remembered that tonight-tonight--was the night I had to say my piece in the Christmas Eve services. Oh, how my Grandma had coached me, to speak loudly and clearly and slowly and to stand up tall.Suddenly when butterflies were having a convention in my stomach and the oatmeal was not setting just right, there was a loud knock on the back door. I heard, "Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas!" Everyone was hugging and kissing at the same time. Auntie Lil and Uncle Cas, and my three cousins, Alice, Delores and Margies were here to spend the holiday with us.
Auntie Lil was short and plump, so easy going and lively. Uncle Cas was the family politician. He was a precinct captian and helped to get out the votes. He loved to argue local politics with my Grandpa. I never did know what kind of job he had. My three cousins were close to my age. We liked the same things, dolls, checkers, jacks and Old Maid.
After lunch it began to snow, large white flakes that really stuck to the ground. We made Angels in the snowdrifts and a snowman with coal for his eyes and mouth. It didn't take too long for our fingers to feel nippy, our noses runny and our clothing wet. After coming in, we hung up our mittens to dry near the stove and settled down to stringing popcorn for the tree. The tree was in the living room and that was forbidden to us kids. We were not allowed to see the tree until it was decorated and only after we had been to the Christmas Eve services. Time passed quickly and soon supper was ready. We raided the bedrooms for extra chairs for our guests and even had to use the piano bench. After supper all the woman and girls cleaned up the dishes and then hurried to get ready for church.
Mother had come home from work just in time to eat with us. She had classic looks and reminded me of picutres I had seen of Lady Astor in magazines. Her hair was bobbed and marcelled and she wore makeup. I thought she was beautiful. In spite of my anxieties about my performance this evening, I was looking forward to wearing my new wine colored, taffeta dress with the lace collar. There also was new, long, white stockings, patent leather Mary Janes and a ribbon for my hair. I loved the way my dress made siwshing sounds when I walked. I thought I could walk forever. I felt so SPECIAL! Mother decided to curl my hair with the curling iron and begged me to sit still. I did get a little burn on my ear, because I couldn't help fidgeting a little. Everyone was ready except Grandpa. When he was chided about not going to church, he'd say "I ready my Bible every day, thats more than most folks that go to church regular do." No one could dispute him.
We walked through the snow, talking, laughing, singing carols, but, hushed as we approached the church. The children were herded into the basement, for they would march into the rectory after the services started. The boys stood on one side, making silly faces, hitching up their knickers, and straightening up their ties. The girls were on the other side, smoothing down their dresses, pulling up their stockings, giggleing a lot and looking at the boys. The organ sounded. I marched with the others. Parents and relatives waved, or smiled or both as we came down the aisle. The Christmas program had begun. After a carol, the pastor started calling the children's names, to recite the Bible verses that told the story of Jesus' birthday. My verse was going round and round in my head. He called my name. I took a deep breath, stood up tall and said loudly and clearly and slowly--"Luke 2:19, And Mary pondered all these things in her heart." With a sigh of relief, my anxieties fled. Soon I heard the jingle of bells and a "Ho Ho Ho" and Santa with his overflowing sack, came running down the aisle. This is what every child had been waiting for. He gave each of us a stocking filled with an orange, nuts and candy. My family gathered up their wraps and after many Merry Christmases to friends and neighbors, left for home.
It was much colder now, as we hurried home to see the tree and our presents. The snow crunched under foot and my toes hurt as we turned the corner of our block. I could see the tree was lit. There were circles of red, blue, yellow and green on the frosted window. My cousins and I ran into the house, tore off our coats on the way into the living room, to see the splendor of Christmas. It was BEAUTIFUL! Like Heaven and Riverview Park and birthdays all rolled into one. There were stacks of presents wrapped gaily under a huge pine tree. The glass ornaments shimmered and shined, competing with our sparkly eyes. After all the adults had hung up their coats, we gathered round the tree and with bowed heads my Grandpa prayed. "Bless this house Lord, and keep us well and safe for another year." Then he started to hand out the children's presents. There was so much noise and confusion as we listened for our names. When Grandpa called my name, I piled my gifts in front of me.
Many were small for the Depression was still with us. I opened the largest box and there was a blue sweater, two petticoats with hand cotched edges, some handkerchiefs and real silk panties. I tore the paper from a new checkerboard game, some ribbons and barrettes and the newest Bobbsey Twin book. There was a drawing tablet and new crayolas too. My sister gave me a flannel nightgown and slippers.My cousins and I sat near the tree showing each other our presents. We oohed and ahhed over every wonderful gift. When every present had been opened and enjoyed, everyone helped clean up the mess. Cousin Adeline put a roll on the player piano and we all sang carols. When she tired of pumping, someone else took her place.
In the midst of all this commotion, my Auntie Louise and Uncle Tony came by. Uncle Tony brought a big bottle of his famous homemade Dago red wine. Auntie Louise had presents for all us kids. The adults headed for the kitchen and then wine glasses. The children sat on the floor, near the tree, playing I SEE A COLOR. When we tired of that, Grandma had hot chocolate and cookies in the kitchen and with full tummy's, we returned to the tree, to play someone's new game.It had been a long day and as we wound down, we laid on the rug, squinting our eyes, to make the lights on the tree look like beautiful colored stars. We talked quietly about our favorite present and the fun we'd had that day. The fire in the coal heater was glowing and sleepy heads were nodding. We could hear the adults in the kitchen laughing and talking, but sounding very far away now. Soon they'd be carrying us off to bed. We still had Christmas Day dinner to look forward to. There would be goose, cranberries, pumpkin pie and nuts -- and yawning -- but that's tomorrow.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
This is our young oak tree in front of the house...
Friday, December 19, 2008
- Paper: My Minds Eye
- Punch: Fern (mfg unknown)
- Glitter: Mica
- Ribbon: Organza
- Dew Drops: Robins Nest
Thursday, December 18, 2008
So my morning starts like this...go to feed, 2 horses are wandering about, one stall door is off...sigh.... after some jiggling and master engineering, I manage to get horses in their own stalls and stall door on by.my.self. (patting myself on the back there for that one...it's quite a feet when the doors are 10' long!)
Come in, surf, try and get dh up for the billionth time... watch him hurry out the door...
Then I go to the barn...enter the arena and lo and behold, we have a TRACTOR in the middle of the arena...sigh... ok, I remember how to start it....right? It's only been about 10 years...gosh, I THINK I can...but better get the arena door open first... that'll be easier..right? NOOTTTTTTT... the door froze to the ground over night (keep in mind the doors are 15ish feet tall and 20ish feet wide) and after searching here, there and EVERYWHERE for something to wiggle the door loose from frozen mud I came across an old pitch fork...managed to sneak it under the door and wiggle, wiggle, CRACK...broke a tine off the old, steal pitchfork...groovy... but managed to loosen the door up enough so I can slide it to bring the tractor out, if, when, I start it...ha!
So now onto the tractor, I climb on board and sit in the cold seat (it's made of steel too...lucky me!) and look down...yup, clutch, I "think" that's the brake...now where do you start it? Now the "newer" tractors have little "labels" that say such things...I'm in a 1940ish Allis Chalmers that's been repainted a "few" times...labels don't exist...sigh... I finally give up and call K...who's phone is busy...so I call my FIL..who just hands the phone right off to K and he walks me through starting it... gotta pull the start button, then pull the ACTUAL start thing, while making sure the choke is down, but gotta get that down before the tractor dies AFTER it starts...sigh... then he says.. GO AHEAD AND WALK AWAY while it warms up...yeah...right... I have my foot on the clutch not knowing that IF I let up on it, if it's in gear or not, images of tractor running through barn walls ran through my head...and if I let up on the clutch, will it die like me little car does...I just hung tight (cold buns and all...buns of steel..snort!)...THEN I had to figure out where the GAS was...it's not on the floor like in a car...oh yeah, a cobweb in my brain figured out it was my right hand...and THEN I was in business....THEN it was ALMOST like riding a bicycle... I did manage to drag the arena and not take out any walls (kudos for me!) and drive tractor safely outside door and turn off with only ONE backfire... it's only gonna get better... right?
K just called, all happy he "bought" me something...he bought me a sham-WOW...yup...it's gonna be an AWESOME day! LOL
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Let me ask you a question...does this picture look better than the rest of my pictures on my blog? I started using a "light cube" with this picture and it seems to be a touch clearer...give me some feedback if you would please, I'd greatly appreciate it!
- Stamp: Stamping Bella Cupcakeabella, Studio G sentiment
- Paper: DCWV Sweet Shoppe, cardstock from stash
- Other: brads, organza ribbon (from Joanns), cuttlebug swirls embossing folder, nestabilities dies, cuttlebug tag die
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
- Stamp: PSX (snowflake), CTMH (To/From)
- Inks: White Studio G, SU Heavenly Blue, Pink
- Die: Nestabilities Label
- Other: Robins Nest Dew Drop
Sunday, December 14, 2008
- 3 Varying sized squares of paper (I just punched out 3 squares with my punches...my largest square is 1 3/8"
- Paper Piercer
- Needle and Thread
- Punch out 3 varying sized squares.
- Fold corner to corner so that your square resembles a triangle.
- Do this both directions.
- Fold your square into a triangle again so it looks something like the above.
- With the pointy end pointed down and the bended edges on your fingertips, squeeze so that your triangle inverts and looks like the above.
- Smoosh it flat, you want to make sure the flaps bend both ways...so that it looks like below...
- With the paper piercer, pierce the middle of your star (so you can put your string through)
- Thread a bead on the end of the string and tie off.
- Place the largest "star" on top of the bead
- Add beads so that they are the height of the next star
- Add the next star
- Continue to do this until you are finished with the "stars"
- Add one last bead and run your string up and back down and tie off for a loop to hang with.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
I used my Just Rite stamper to create the ring (A Small Note) around the music note, then using my nestabilities circle, cut it out and embossed it. I also used my Allegro embossing folder from Cuttlebug to use as a background for this set. It was quick and it was easy!
Then I needed a clever way to package 8 notecards and envelopes and remembered Lauren Meader came out with a cute little box with Timeless Templates (from paper trey ink, link here http://laurenm.blogs.splitcoaststampers.com/2008/12/11/template-time/) EXCEPT it's release date is the 15th...now KNOWING I don't have TIME to wait on the template, I made my own...I shoulda waited and just bought the template! This is the 4th or 5th version of trial and error and it came out...ok, not great, I'm not super pleased with the fit...it's a little loose, but it'll do.... so save yourself some aggrevation and go purchase her template if you like this box...trust me, it's worth every darn penny!
- Stamp: Just Rite (for a small note), Music Note (unknown)
- Embossing: Nesabilities (circle), Allegro by Cuttlebug
- Ink: Tim Holtz
- Paper: All from Joann's
- Other: Organza Ribbon, Button, Flower (from silk flower bush)
Friday, December 12, 2008
Now as many of you know, K and I own/operate a horse training business and since I'm the first one out of the bed in the a.m., I just, in pj's and all, go straight to the barn and feed first thing in the a.m.
Now yesterday morning I am GREETED at the doorway by a horse on the loose...SHE's easy enough to catch, go back to her stall, figure out WHY she was loose (worked the latch) and fed...although she had already had her "pre-breakfast", but this brings me back to the time where there were SEVERAL loose!
It was one of the mornings where I woke up on the wrong side of bed, now in the a.m. the hounds of hades come with me...little extra time to potty and they just enjoy going out in the a.m. to sniff and mark their territory, so as I open the door to the stall area and the hounds romp in, I hear barking...more so than usual, THEN I hear scuffling....sigh.... and running .... another sigh... and then banging.... really BIG SIGH... and then I turn the corner and my eyes POP out of my head and I think my jaw dropped open. I had not one, not two, not THREE, BUT FOUR, YES FOUR horses running amock down our aisleway (it's 12' wide and about 60' long) and the hounds of hades hot on their heals...they were "helping" don't ya know...
Now while they are running amock, I'm assessing the situation, I have stall doors in the middle of the aisleway (we just use simple pipe gates that are fairly light, but large for one person to maneuver), manure and urine EVERYWHERE and squeeling horses in stalls....
So I grab the closest halters and try to corner one of the wayward equines...to no avail...they have gone into "herd mentality" and ALL run into the closest stall (4 horses in a 10X10 stall does not a pretty picture make)...so I make my way into the stall trying not to get trampled, pushed and attempted to grab one...to no avail, they all head OUT of the stall, with the hounds helping...sigh... this goes on for "awhile" and I somehow manage to get all 4 halters on the wayward horses into stalls.
...and there I stand, with all the horses hungry (and pawing and whinnying), trying to figure out HOW to fix the gates, feed and how I'm going to clean up the wall to wall manure.
Now this is one of those times where it's awesome that my in-laws live next door, although I usually don't take my cell phone with me, I did that morning and called in for help...my FIL was there lickity split and helped me with the gates...
And from the mess that I cleaned up and the detective work I saw, the horses had been out at least 2 hours and it all started with one horse that scratched itself on the gate and lifted it off...then moved onto the next horse and they pushed that gate over, and so on and so on...kind of like a domino effect... the aisleway pretty much looked like a horse New Years Eve party...only manure instead of confetti...but hey, one must make do with what one has....right?
Thursday, December 11, 2008
- Stamp: Magnolia Tilda with a Muffin, Studio G (sentiment)
- Paper: DCWV Sweet Shoppe, CTMH, Joann's
- Punches: EK Success Circles, Martha Stewart Lace
- Ink: Tim Holtz
- Other: Colored Pencils, Martha Stewart Pearls, Organza Ribbon, Stickles
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Are you ready for Christmas? I have a couple of gift cards to pick up and then my shopping is done. I haven't really decorated for the holiday yet and have been dragging my feet...we're actually going to Denver for Christmas this year to spend with MY family, so while K wants the tree UP, I've been procrastinating...I mean we'll see it for a little while and then be gone and I'll have to get everything out of storage and blah, blah, blah... I'm not feeling "Un-Christmasy", just not into decorating this year...LOL, oh well, we'll see if it ends up getting put up or not...LOL...
Well I must run to the store, my cuppards are bare (at least according to K...I figure I'm still good for a week! LOL)
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Now you can scroll past the Dutch (I think) and there the blog is in English...so no worries! Did you know that Tilda comes from Sweden? How cool is that...this girl is INTERNATIONAL! Anyway, check it out!
- Stamps: Magnolia (Tilda and Packages), Close to My Heart (sentiment), Studio G (fleurish)
- Ink: Tim Holtz
- Paper: Basic Grey, Joann's
- Punch: Martha Stewart Branch
- Other: Glitter, Rhinestones, Organza Ribbon
Monday, December 8, 2008
- Stocking: Cricut
- Punch: Fern (source unknown)
- Dies: Nestabilities
- Paper: The Paper Studio
- Other: Robins Nest Dew Drop, Organza Ribbon
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Below I used a doily (found at my favorite haunt, Dollar Tree, 24 doilies for $1), folded it in half and placed on a lunch bag and I topped it with one of my favorite images and a ribbon to hold the whole thing together. Cute, Simple, Quick!
- Stamp: Rachel Ann Miller
- Ink: Tim Holtz
- Paper: SU Heavenly Blue
- Punch: Martha Stewart Lace
- Other: Doily, Lunch Sack, Ribbon, Colored Pencils, Stickles
Here's another bag, this time a gift bag with a long, oval doily, I folded the doily in half and cut a slit to allow the handles to go over it (this is a really good trick to keep peepers out of the gift bags also!) This can also be done with cardstock cut to size...however the doily is easy and quick! I hung a snowflake (12/$1 at Dollar Tree) added a few beads to it and put a tulle ribbon on it...quick, pretty and ready to go!
Saturday, December 6, 2008
The towel itself was $1 (found at my Dollar Tree, but I also found some outstanding towels at Wal-Mart for the same price) and the snowman fabric was $7/yard and I used a 3 1/2" X 14" strip for each towel, and the lace I had on hand.
These were easy to make and the longest part of the whole project was ironing my seams down and pinning the lace under the fabric. The sewing was the easiest part of all, STRAIGHT LINES! Can't go too wrong with that!
I plan on giving several friends and family members these little towel sets, I know most of their kitchen colors (and can match towel colors accordingly)and Prim (primitive decor) is in, in my area, so I know they'll be appreciated!
Above I wanted to show you what the towel looked like BEFORE it's transformation!
Friday, December 5, 2008
- Box & Tag: Cricut, Tags Bags Boxes and More
- Heart: Cricut, George
- Cup: Cricut, Joys of the Season
- Snowflake: Martha Stewart Lace punch
- Glitter: Martha Stewart
- Sentiment: Studio G
- Ink: Tim Holtz
Thursday, December 4, 2008
I changed the directions slightly to fit my socks and made it 8" tall...
- Paper: Transparency (for acetate), cardstock from stash
- Stamp: Magnolia
- Punch: Marthat Stewart Lace
- Die: Nestabilities
- Other: Colored Pencils, Double Stick Tape, Hole Punch, Ribbon
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
- Punch: Martha Stewart Lace
- Paper Piecing: This little girl I made almost 7 years ago, so I'm sorry I don't have the original, however I believe she is inspired by Mary Engelbreit.
- Paper and Ribbon from my stash.
- Paper: K & Co
- Die: Cricut Opposites Attract
- Pin: Stash that I made
- Ribbon: Again, stash...
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
- Paper; Kraft from my stash, Heavenly Blue by SU
- Stamp: PSX (snowflake), Just Rite (Seasoned Greetings)
- Ink: Tim Holtz Vintage Photo
- Punch: Martha Stewart Snowflake, Cricut Joys of the Seasons (snowflake) and Tags, Bags, Boxes and More (tag)
- Other: Ribbon, Button, Jute
Monday, December 1, 2008
- Paper Trimmer
- Patterned Paper 4 3/4" X 6 1/2"
- Coordinating Paper 1" X 6 1/2"
- Double Stick Tape
- Hole Punch
- Edge Punch (here I used Fiskars Treading Water punch)
- Decorative Accents (Martha Stewart Snowflake Punch & Cricut Joys of the Season Snowflake)
- Glitter (for accents)
With the edge punch, punch the 6 1/2" edge of the coordinating paper and attach with double stick tape to the top of the patterned paper (as shown).
Flip it over and put double stick tape alone one 4 3/4" edge and 1/2 of the 6 1/2" edge.
Overlapping slightly, roll the paper (like a toilet paper tube) so that the 4 3/4" meet. Press together (as shown below)...